Neuroprotection by Paeoniflorin in the MPTP mouse model of Parkinson's disease

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Abstract

Paeoniflorin (PF) is a major bioactive ingredient in Radix Paeonia alba roots that has low toxicity and has been shown to have neuroprotective effects. Our in vitro experiments suggested that PF affords a significant neuroprotective effect against MPP+-induced damage and apoptosis in PC12 cells through Bcl-2/Bax/caspase-3 pathway. The objectives of the present study were to explore the potential neuroprotective effect of PF in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-treated mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD). Our results demonstrated that PF treatment ameliorated the behavioral deficits of “in spontaneous motor activity and latency to fall of the rotarod test”, and reduced dopaminergic cell loss that were induced by MPTP in a dose-dependent manner in an in vivo model of PD. In addition, we found that treatment of PF protected dopaminergic neurons by preventing MPTP-induced decreases in striatal and substantia nigra dopaminergic transporter (DAT) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) protein levels, and by changing dopamine catabolism and inhibiting dopamine turnover. Furthermore, it was also associated with up-regulation of the Bcl-2/BAD ratio, and inhibition of the activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3. These results showed that PF promoted dopamine neuron survival in vivo due to the MAO-B inhibition, and the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway may have mediated the protection of PF against MPTP, suggesting that PF treatment might represent a neuroprotective treatment for PD.

Graphical abstract

The objectives of the present study were to explore the potential neuroprotective effect of Paeoniflorin (PF) in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6- tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-treated mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD). The results showed that PF treatment ameliorated the behavioral deficits of “in spontaneous motor activity and latency to fall of the rotarod test”, and reduced dopaminergic cell loss that were induced by MPTP in a dose-dependent manner in an in vivo model of PD. In addition, we found that treatment of PF protected dopaminergic neurons by preventing MPTP-induced decreases in striatal and substantia nigra dopaminergic transporter (DAT) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) protein levels dopaminergic transporter (DAT) protein levels and by changing dopamine catabolism and inhibiting dopamine turnover. Furthermore, it was also associated with up-regulation of the Bcl-2/BAD ratio, and inhibition of the activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3. These results showed that PF promoted dopamine neuron survival in vivo due to the MAO-B inhibition, and the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway may have mediated the protection of PF against MPTP, suggesting that PF treatment might represent a neuroprotective treatment for PD.

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